May 12 – 14, 2014: Collaboration with the U Mass—Dartmouth Labor Education Center and event in Providence, RI
May 19, 2014: Event at The Root Social Justice Center, Brattleboro, VT, 7pm
May 24 – 25, 2014: Hands-on interviewing, recording and editing workshops in the Salle des médias autonomes // Autonomous Media Room at the Anarchist Bookfair, Montreal, Quebec
June 3 – 13, 2014: Collaborations with No One Is Illegal – Toronto and Ontario Coalition Against Poverty; Toronto, Ontario
June 15 – 17, 2014: Event and party; Chicago, IL
June 22 – 24, 2014: Presentation and infiltration stories recording booth at the Allied Media Conference, Detroit, MI
… and more dates TBA
December 22, 2013: Day of Story Collecting at Giovanni’s Room, 345 South 12th St., Philadelphia, PA 19107
SoMove is documenting stories about North America’s oldest queer bookstore, Giovanni’s Room. After forty years in operation, Giovanni’s Room faces a change of ownership and may close as soon as January or February 2014. Since its inception, Giovanni’s Room has provided a community space and safe haven to many. “A physical store is also a community center,” the bookstore’s owner, Ed Hermance, said. “For many people, the LGBT bookstore was their original ‘safe space,’ a place in which one might begin to come out to oneself.” On December 22, the Social Movements Oral History Tour—a network of oral historians, independent producers and activists— set up a story booth in the bookstore to record stories and memories of the longest continuously running queer bookstore in the US—and collectively dream for its future.
April 4: Listening Party at Women & Children First bookstore, Chicago, IL, 7:30 – 9pm
Last winter, we visited the nation’s longest, continuously running queer bookstore to record the voices of the Philadelphia community who organized for social justice after the Stonewall Riot, survived the HIV/AIDS epidemic, or helped to create this bookstore and public space for queer culture. Join us in the listening, debating and drinking (non-alcoholic)!
April 5, 2014: Presentation with Groundswell: Oral History for Social Change at the Chicago History Museum, IL, 2:30 – 4:30pm
April 19, 2014: Joint event with Nodutdol and ICU Oakland at SoleSpace, Oakland, CA, 7pm
We have everything we need: A listening and dreaming session STORIES AS PROCESS AND POLITICS Join us for an evening of sound and story, snacks and discussion. How can interviewing, recording and storytelling draw out collective forms of knowledge; name or resolve historical trauma; and inspire new forms of organizing or understanding? How can we unpack what we’ve experienced and move forward? We’ll listen to clips and hear accounts from movement documentarians from SoMove, ICU Oakland and a New York City-based, Korean diaspora organization, Nodutdol. Together, we’ll brainstorm ways that you or your group could use oral history techniques to take organizing to a next level. PAST TO PRESENT TENSE 1. Beyond a single line in our history textbooks, the lived history of the Korean peninsula is hardly shared or understood, even as the geopolitical conflict of the region rages on. Within families, that history is also full of omissions, gaps and silences. A new Korean-American oral history project brings together artists and organizers to create space for both 1st and 2nd generation Korean-Americans to bridge these gaps and share their oral histories, beginning with some critical questions: What did you experience during the Korean War? What are the legacies of the war and subsequent military dictatorships? How did you survive and what did you carry to the United States? What changes do we dream of, going into the future? 2. Government documents, requested through the Freedom of Information Act, have revealed some of the terrifying details of spying and infiltration of activist groups during the last decade. Informants and infiltrators were and are woven into the fabric of political activist life. They’re in our photos and have stayed at our houses. SoMove—a group of oral historians, independent journalists, media activists and artists—is collecting personal accounts of encounters with informants and infiltrators to map out the effect of government intervention on interpersonal relationships, communities and political movements. 3. ICU Oakland gives surveillance camera walking tours of Oakland to start conversations about how surveillance affects those in poverty, those on parole, those on welfare, the incarcerated, undocumented or documented immigrants, black and brown youth in public schools and activists holding down street protests. We think that looking at the historical consequences of surveillance in low-income communities of color—and their stories of resistance—takes the debate offline, so to speak, and shows why surveillance is a problem and how we might fight back. *Want to request your FBI file? Drop by our FOIA station after the event!
April 24 – 26, 2014: Recording sessions with Baltimore Racial Justice Action in Baltimore, MD
April 27, 2014: Joint event with the Trans Oral History Project and SLAM! Herstory Project at Wooden Shoe Books, Philadelphia, PA, 7 – 9pm
Movement historians will present recordings and reflections from the Student Liberation Action Movement at City University of New York; the Trans Oral History Project; and the Social Movements Oral History Tour. Together, we’ll brainstorm ways that you or your group could use oral history techniques to take organizing to a next level.
The SLAM! Herstory Project is a collaborative oral history project about the Student Liberation Action Movement. SLAM! was a multiracial radical group based in the City University of New York from 1996 to 2004 that fought tuition hikes and the elimination of open admissions, and organized youth to resist police brutality and the prison industrial complex. To hear audio clips from the interviews, visit http://
The Transgender Oral History Project is a community based effort to collect and distribute the diverse stories of Transgender people. With a national network and local community cores in Philadelphia and Chicago the TOHP has collected over 50 stories in 12 states. The TOHP believes that trans folks telling the stories of our own communities is crucial to re-framing the stereotypes and misconceptions that exist about the trans community. The TOHP distributes stories though an online story bank, a zine distro, community workshops and most recently, a youth educators toolkit, I Live for Trans Education. Stories from our archives are available online at www.transoralhistory.com. SoMove, or the Social Movements Oral History Tour, is network of activists, oral historians, artists, documentary-makers and independent journalists working together to document ways people creatively change their lives, neighborhoods and the world.
Last winter, we visited Philadelphia’s Giovanni’s Room—the nation’s longest, continuously running queer bookstore. We recorded the voices of the community who organized for social justice after the Stonewall riot, survived the HIV/ AIDS epidemic, and helped to create a queer culture that many of us take for granted today. Come listen to selected clips, discuss and enjoy snacks!
April 28, 2014: Joint event with the Trans Oral History Project at William Way LGBT Community Center, Philadelphia, PA
Join us for an evening of listening to stories from Giovanni’s Room and the Trans Oral History Project and discussing the importance and practice of radical archiving. 6-7pm – Time to visit listening stations 7-8pm – Roundtable Discussion on Radical Archiving with SoMove and the Trans Oral History Project. 8-8:30pm – Time to chat and network ! This event was made possible by the William Way LGBT Community Center. The William Way LGBT Community Center is a not-for-profit, 501(c)3 organization serving the lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender communities of Greater Philadelphia through service, recreational, cultural, and educational programming. http://waygay.org/
May 2, 2014: Presentation with Democracy Now! at the Brooklyn Historical Society, NY, 6 – 9pm
Brief presentations will be followed by plenty of time to mingle and establish new connections with fellow oral historians, artists, writers, cultural workers, documentarians, journalists, activists, and organizers. Come help us dream up new ways to document social justice stories, and increase visibility and leverage for our movements! We will be eating snacks, drinking (free!) Brooklyn Brewery beer, mingling, and building new connections.
May 3, 2014: Listening party and report-back at Bluestockings, Manhattan, NY, 7 – 9pm
How could you or your group could use oral history techniques to take organizing to a next level? A half dozen volunteer oral historians, journalists and producers, artists and activists have teamed up with community organizations and social movement groups to document individual and collective histories across North America. We share our multi-media stories and curated oral histories through our website and the old fashioned way: touring.